The Nimbus 7 Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) is designed for mapping of the atmospheric ozone distribution. Absorption by sulfur dioxide at the same ultraviolet spectral wavelengths makes it possible to observe and resolve the size of volcanic clouds. The sulfur dioxide absorption is discriminated from ozone and water clouds in the data processing by their spectral signatures. Thus, the sulfur dioxide can serve as a tracer which appears in volcanic eruption clouds because it is not present in other clouds. The detection limit with TOMS is close to the theoretical limit due to telemetry signal quantization of 1000 metric tons (5-sigma threshold) within the instrument field of view (50 by 50 km near the nadir). Requirements concerning the use of TOMS in detection of eruptions, geochemical cycles, and volcanic climatic effects are discussed.